Siri never says 'green cheese' 

Do you remember the first time your child noticed the moon? Like, noticed that up in the sky there was an object floating in the middle of it that no one else seemed to be bothered by? The first question is normally an emphatic “What’s that?” To which your reply is probably a version of “What’s what?” Because they could be referring to literally anything within sight around them, and partially because we as adults are so accustomed to our normal surroundings that we take even the amazing things for granted. It’s hard to fathom even for a second that this tiny person we’re responsible for is experiencing the joy of discovering the moon for the first time, sharing a sense of wonder that runs throughout human history. For some people however, that sense of wonder never gets taken for granted and leads to a career in engineering, research, or even as an astronaut.

Five Ways to Help Your Child Discover the Mission to the Moon

1. Check out age-appropriate books about the moon and Apollo 11 from the library, Great Lakes Science Center store or from your local book store.

2. Plan fun activities that illustrate the moon and the Apollo missions. We created an Apollo 11 Activites Pinterest Board to inspire you.

3. Explore the movies and television specials focused on the Apollo 11 mission this July on streaming services, cable and public television. The Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater is also showing “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” all summer long

4. Visit the museums and parks in Ohio that have special programs and exhibits dedicated to space exploration. 

5. Dig into the NASA Apollo50 website. It is jammed-packed with archival photos, videos and audio clips that will transport you back in time.

An Astronaut's View

This summer, we’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the ultimate achievement of never surrendering that sense of wonder. On July 19 and 20, Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, will mark the occasion with Apollo 50 – Next Giant Leap, and a special visit from astronaut Douglas H. WheelockWheelock will give a special presentation at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 19 and answer audience questions after. The event will feature tons of activities and science demonstrations, and guests can see our authentic moon rock and get a look inside an actual Apollo command module!

The Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater is also showing “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” all summer long (separate ticket required). The DOME Theater’s six-story high screen and 11,600 watts of digital sound fully capture the thrilling cinematic experience that showcases the real-life moments of humankind’s first steps on the moon. With a newly discovered trove of never-before-seen 70mm footage and audio recordings, the filmmakers show the exhilarating final moments of preparation, liftoff, landing and return of this historic mission. “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” joins astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Mission Control team and millions of spellbound spectators around the world during those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.

The Science Center is also bringing the excitement of the anniversary celebration to several area branches of the Cuyahoga County Public Library this summer. As part of the library system’s public speaker series, the Science Center’s STEM Learning department will present “Legacy of Apollo: The Greatest Leap” at various branches throughout Northeast Ohio. Go to the Apollo50 page for dates and locations.

Explore Ohio's Aerospace Heritage

As part of the historic nature of this summer celebration, TourismOhio has created a super fun road trip itinerary that follows the heritage of our state’s contributions to aeronautics and space flight, and the Science Center is thrilled to be part of the route! “To the Moon and Back” takes curious travelers around the state to find out just how important Ohio was to air and space history. There’s even a special playlist curated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to soundtrack your adventure! Along the route you can discover the roots of the Wright Brothers and visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, see the birthplace of astronaut and Senator John Glenn in New Concord, celebrate the moon landing anniversary in Columbus at COSI or the Ohio History Center, visit the birthplace of astronaut Neil Armstrong in Wapokeneta, and scan the heavens in a planetarium show at Observatory Park in Montville Township in Geauga County.

But watch out! If you’re not careful, you might find yourself just as in awe of the moon and the skies above as your little one.